Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, this is more of a thought of the month than of the hour, but anyway. I'm fustrated. In so many ways. Argh....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thank Goodness It's Not Monday...

You ever wake up after a great Saturday night thinking another work day, boo. Your mind goes to all the things you left hanging the week before, the waiting conference calls, emails, etc.

And then it hits you. You're like, wait, wasn't yesterday Saturday? So what day is it? Isn't it Sunday? It IS Sunday! No work for one more day. Brilliant! I can go back to sleep.

And that's exactly what I did.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wow, another Friday...

I can't believe it, seems like just yesterday I was determined to have a good day no matter what. Today wasn't so bad. We had another going away meal for a departing colleague, this time at Brassier Perrier. The lunch was so so, the service even worst. It was an hour and a half before we got our entrees. But it was still nice to get out of the office and into the 70 degree weather.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, turns out I've been selling myself short professionally. Go figure. Why is it so hard for me to see myself as a six figure manager? As an almost over qualified professional? Why isn't an MBA just as impressive to me as a JD or an MD? Short answer is because its me and it all didn't seem that hard.

So that's what I'll be spending my weekend doing. Setting myself up for my next big opportunity. Making sure I'm poised to make major moves...

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, April 10, 2008

No really, what happened?

That's inevitably the question I get when I make a snarky comment about my job. And I wonder myself sometimes. How do things change so quickly? How did I go from loving it, can't wait to get back, to trepidation and waiting to see what would happen, to complete disillusionment? In the nine months since I returned, there have been major changes, and where once I kind of knew what was coming and what role I would play, now I feel blindsided. The ironic thing is, I'm sure this is how some of my collegues felt when I got back.
A little background first. I came in as a temp, got my MBA, waited for them to decide if they wanted to make me permanent, was offered another opportunity, took it, they decided they did want me, I didn't like my new job, so I came back as a permanent employee. When I accepted the position, it was with the understanding that I was over qualified for the position, but it was a stepping stone to other positions within the company. Also, I would be given management opportunities as well as chances to use my MBA education whenever possible.
I guess the first major change was the reshuffling of the regions and zones, and with it, lots of catch up work to bring the new zone members and projects up to speed. I did a lot of that work on the project coordinator side. I was more than happy to prove myself through spearheading inquiries, doing and redoing other people's work; whatever it took to make my zone the best. But that quickly turned into sinply doing other people's work, even their basic responsibilities. It seemed that it was easier to ask me to do it than to demand that those reponsible do it right.
Next, I got a new manager, a biproduct of my old manager being promoted. And I knew it was going to happen before I came back. What I didn't realize was how it would affect not only my daily worklife, but also my career outlook. The new guy came in with a whole new set of priorities and very little concern with how they would affect me. On my end, I quickly noticed that not only was I more educated that he was, I was also more resourceful. I have yet to find an area that he can train me in. Instead, he's more of a talking head, bringing down orders, verbatim, from senior management. It's very hard to respect a supervisor that has nothing to offer you. But I am determined to do what I signed up for and that is support him in any way I can, no matter how many times he asks the same question.
But the last straw was definitely the performance evaluation process. We were told we would have to right goals for 2007 in December. We were given the information required from the corporate office to write them in January of 2008. I finished mine in early February. That's right, I wrote my 2007 goals in February of 2008. And I was one of the first to complete them. How do yo know this, you ask? Because, the week I finished my goals, I was asked to scrub them of all personal details so that they could be passed on to the others in my zone, who it seemed had igmored the numerous directives of the past two months and would suffer absolutely no consequences.
All was quiet until the second week of March, the week of my review. That Tuesday, I was asked to rewrite my goals, qunatifying such things as my personal career plans, and have them ready for my reivew that Friday. And what began as disbelief quickly evolved into true hurt. I couldn't believe senior management could be so bold. They were basically telling me that they hadn't once looked at my goals (which I'd taken three weeks to write) in the month and a half since I turned them in. They seemed surprised to find that I was fully aware that the performance evaluations had already been written and the subseuent bonuses decided upon. In other words, any changes I made would have no impact on my assesment or raise. Mysteriously, a day later, I was told not to worry about it, my goals no longer needed to be changed.
It suddenly became clear to me that this is what the company thought about my development as a professional. Not only did they not make goal writing a priority until the next year had already started, they never considered what those employees wrote. It didn't matter. The whole thing was just a compliance box to check off. They didn't care.
Needless to say, I didn't go into my review with very good feelings. I was nervous about my first official review, but also wary after the conversations that had been floating around all week. And my gut instinct was right. After all the work I'd done, I was given simply a satisfactory rating. The only feedback I received was 'engage collegues more'. I was very disappointed. There was only one rating lower than what I had been given, and if there was one thing I prided myself on, it was being quite a bit more than satisfactory. My reviewers (both my old and new managers) told me I was being too hard on myself. Satisfactory was par for the course; I should be happy; the next level of recognition was very hard to obtain (nevermind that I knew of two people in our office that had attained that next level). But the rub came in being told that I had been judged in comparison to my peers, to which I wondered, you mean those same peers whose work I had to complete?
I was absolutely gutted, and after sleeping on it, I was even more annoyed. So much so, that I spoke to the director as soon as I saw him. How, I asked, does a person who completes other people's work get a satisfactory rating? By definition, that person's work has to be more than satisfactory if it is thought that she can additionally do the work of others. It's a product of the time you've been here (4 months), I was told. This was a non issue, since I had been doing the job prior to becoming a permanent employee and as previously stated, I'm routinely called on to do other people's work. Then how, I asked, do I go from being satisfactory to being more than satisfactory, because I didn't get that feedback during my review? I don't have that information right now, I was told, I should have that by the end of April when I return from headquarters. That's interesting, I thought, by then the first quarter of the year will already have passed, and with it 25% of my opportunity to improve myself. I smell a repeat. So what am I supposed to do now, I mused. I don't know what to tell you, I probably don't have the answers you want to make you feel better. Yes, these were the parting words of my leadership. Now, I smelled a rat.
So here I am, almost three weeks post review, post miniscule bonus and raise, and feeling significantly less than satisfactory. What I've learned is that the hollow thank you's I get when I've successfully completed the task is about all I should expect. I know I can do so much more, but that is only useful to my superiors if it can somehow advance their careers. If it makes them look incompetent, it won't be utilized. As a result, I can't summon the endless energy and enthusiasm I used to have for doing what was asked of me outside my responsibilities. Because I don't think it will take me anywhere and I know it won't be appreciated. More on what I'm going to do about all this to follow...

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's Still Friday...

Even though the weather is kinda sucky, I'm almost done with another work week, so yay. And it's been a hilly one. One of my favorite people in the office came back after his 2 week honeymoon, only to put in his resignation the next day. Oh, and right after said welcome back party, one of my other favorite people in the office quit. That's right, two people in two days put in their 2 week notice. Have I mentioned how much I love my job? That's probably because I don't. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I am that I'm doing the same work now that I was pre-MBA. That's not gonna fly. I gotta start applying to places and putting my name out there. Otherwise, all my hard work in getting a second degree will be pointless. All these people following their dreams, why not me? Off to Craig's List I go...